Rockslide Closes Another Major Pike County Roadway

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

A major roadway is blocked, covered by several feet of rock and dirt. That's exactly what Pike County officials were trying to prevent with a set of guards.

The rocks fell before they could put up a barrier. Now highway workers aren't just cleaning up rocks and dirt, they're trying to prevent this from happening again and it could take up to a week before the road is ready.

Rocks falling off the mountain onto Bypass Road isn't a new problem.

"We've been at this location several times over minor rock falls," said Tim Carter, Maintenance Crew Superintendent.

But Sunday's rock fall was larger than in the past. Those who work nearby figured it was bound to happen sooner than later.

"I've noticed the difference of the pattern of the rock fallover the last month. I'm not surprised at all no," said Sheila Watson with Pikeville Medical Equipment.

It looks bad enough, but highway workers say it can still get worse.

"There was a rock fall that came off this section right here and it left the remainder where the split is hanging," Carter said.

Workers say the rock is barely clinging to the hillside and water is pooled behind it. They're afraid the water force could push it off.

"Trying to take the proactive and go ahead and repair this situation before it becomes anymore hazardous," Carter said.

Workers say to fix the problem and prevent this from happening again. They actually have to get up top to where all the rock and debris are. They're actually dumping more rock and dirt on the road to make a 40 foot ramp to the top and then they'll remove all of the rocks and trees from the mountaintop.

"It needs to be done. It really does for the road. Somebody's gonna get hurt if it doesn't," said Debbie Hunt.

Work will take days.

"It should be much safer when all this is completed," Carter said.

He says safe enough for cars to drive by again.

Workers say the good news is no cars were on the road last night when the rocks fell and no one is hurt. The two businesses across the street, are both delivery services so their business is not affected by the road closing.

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